NEW DELHI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar turned down the persistent demand of the Left leaders and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee to become the consensus opposition choice for the Presidential elections, arguing that he wants to stay in active politics. He obliquely expressed doubts about the opposition getting the winning numbers in the top poll.
Mamata tried to persuade Pawar by saying that he would be a strong and consensus candidate, whose pan-party connect can also bring in parties like YSRCP and BJD.
However, Pawar is learnt to have said that Presidential elections are always on political lines, which may not change much for individual parties despite his candidature. He also said there is little assuredness that YSRCP and BJD will cross over to the opposition ranks if he is the candidate. The maths, according to him, becomes impossible for the opposition if around 7% votes of the YSRCP and BJD go with the BJP camp, while there are also small parties and independents to contend with, who can be swayed by the government.

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